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Guy Carleton Wiggins (American, 1883-1962)


Also known as:  Wiggins, Guy; Wiggins, Guy C.

Birth Place: New York City (New York state, United States)

Guy Carleton Wiggins The celebrated American impressionist painter, Guy Carleton Wiggins, was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1883. His initial artistic training was under his father, artist John Carleton Wiggins, and after attending the Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn, he went on to study at the National Academy of Design under the reputable William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri. As his talent was quickly recognized, Wiggins’s New York cityscape painting, Metropolitan Tower, was purchased for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection when he was only twenty years-old. He became widely known for these winter scenes of Manhattan buildings, as well as for his landscapes of the English countryside.

In 1920, he joined the Old Lyme colony of painters in Connecticut as one of their youngest members, and it was during the following decades that the picturesque New England scenery filtered into his work. The colony sought to create a new style of impressionism, and in doing so, they combined the newly emerging American techniques and ideas with French traditions. Wiggins’ developed his own unique and impressive painterly style, in which he incorporated bright colors in snowy cityscapes, capturing and perfecting the atmospheric haze.

He founded the Guy Wiggins Art School in 1937 in Essex, Connecticut, and soon after he formed the Essex Painters Society. Wiggins continued to show his paintings in several solo and group exhibitions, and today his work is included in various collections such as the Chicago Art Institute and the National Gallery of Art, with two of his paintings even hanging in the White House. He passed away in 1962.

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